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Author Topic: HSC students warned to stay away from stimulants as they prepare for exams  (Read 651 times)

andrew

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BY BRUCE MCDOUGALL AND LISA MAYOH - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH OCTOBER 11, 2014 12:00AM SHARE

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/hsc-students-warned-to-stay-away-from-stimulants-such-as-caffeine-and-other-drugs-as-they-prepare-for-upcoming-exams/story-fni0cx12-1227086868076?nk=dd71e3b6fd9e117a5c438a74bb7fe405
   
HSC students warned to stay away from stimulants such as caffeine and other drugs as they prepare for upcoming exams

HSC students have been warned that stimulants such as caffeine can damage their health and their chances of peak exam performance.

Board of Studies president Tom Alegounarias issued a blunt message to the 70,000 students who are preparing to sit their first English paper on Monday: “No artificial stimulants are useful.”

Schools also have urged Year 12 students not to take excessive amounts of caffeine or other drugs in the expectation of improving concentration — or to stay awake longer to study.

A Newtown School of Performing Arts newsletter tells ­students to “go easy on the substances. All of them: caffeine, cigarettes, coffee, No-Doz (caffeine tablet), alcohol, marijuana, Ritalin, Dexamphetamine and any other drugs.

Kathryn Stiles, an Annandale university student, used energy drinks to get through her HS
Kathryn Stiles, an Annandale university student, used energy drinks to get through her HSC and now drinks three coffees a day, and more when exams are on or assessments are due. Picture: Chris McKeen
“Any drug you think will help you study is actually a short-term fix that will probably make you feel much worse and cause you to underperform later.”

Too much caffeine can ­increase anxiety and other mood disorders and cause headaches, drowsiness and depression, ­experts say.

The private Cranbrook School has also issued a warning about the effects of Adderall, an attention deficit hyperactive disorder drug increasingly used for recreational purposes in the US.

“Adderall abuse stands as one of the most volatile issues impacting the American education system today,” the school’s newsletter warns, adding that while Adderall is not available in Australia, its chemical cousins Ritalin and Dexedrin are and are commonly used.

Erina High School’s newsletter raised concerns about “the number of students who consume energy drinks before school each day”. “Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system to increase alertness but excessive amounts can cause headaches, nervousness, dizziness and insomnia.”

“Drinking excessive amounts of energy drinks could have adverse effects especially if they contain caffeine,” the newsletter says.

The school community has been warned that energy drinks with significant amounts of ­caffeine produce “disrupted learning in some students”.

A NSW Department of Education and Communities spokesman said the use or possession of illegal substances was not tolerated in public schools, adding that students learn about drug and ­alcohol issues in the curriculum.

“Year 12 is a challenging time for students as studying for the HSC often coincides with other stressful factors. The department encourages good sleep, nutrition and physical activity to manage stress,” the spokesman said.

Kathryn Stiles used energy drinks while studying for her HSC and now drinks three coffees a day to get through the last few weeks of her university graduate diploma in ­education.

“I definitely drink a lot of coffee,” the Annandale 27-year-old said.

“I totally agree it’s not the best choice but during exams you have to do anything to stay awake and jam the work in. (Also) if I need to stay awake and do an assessment I will go for that option,” Ms Stiles said.

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